Mack Trucks is set to demonstrate two zero-emission-capable Class 8 trucks at freight-intensive locations throughout California as part of the state’s heavy-duty truck development project designed to help reduce air pollution.

The project will will receive funding through a $23.6 million grant from the State of California.

The program aims to work toward the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks.

As one of the truck manufacturers selected to receive funding, Mack trucks will focus on ultra-low NOx technologies, while advancing plug-in hybrid and geo-fencing capabilities explored in previous and on-going projects.

“Mack looks forward to continuing our collaboration and demonstrating two zero-emission capable trucks,” said Dennis Slagle, president of Mack Trucks.

“Mack has been a leader in powertrain innovation for decades, and we are excited to apply our knowledge to this project.”

The goals of the zero-emission capable truck project include reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at locations with heavy freight volumes, including ports, rail yards and the freight corridors connecting them.

“This unique collaborative effort is aimed at fostering the development of advanced zero-emission truck technologies that are vital to improving air quality in communities near our busy freight corridors,” said Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles City Councilman.

“Cleaner truck fleets on our roadways are important for air quality and climate goals, and essential to protecting public health.”

Mack’s efforts will build upon its experiences in designing and demonstrating a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) truck based on a Mack Pinnacle daycab model.

The Mack is capable of zero-emission operation thanks to the integration of a Mack MP7 diesel engine with a parallel hybrid system and lithium-ion battery pack.

Additional lightweight and aerodynamic-enhancing components were also included to extend the benefits of the hybrid technology and maximize zero-emission range.

The truck utilizes geo-fencing capabilities similar to those enabled by Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics platform to switch between zero-emission and hybrid operating modes. Geo-fencing establishes a virtual perimeter as determined by GPS coordinates. The onboard hardware can then identify each time the truck passes through the perimeter.

When inside the zero-emission geo-fence – which includes locations with the heaviest freight traffic, such as a port – the truck operates in pure electric mode.

When outside the zero-emission geo-fence – such as on the way to a rail yard or distribution center – the diesel engine is enabled, allowing for hybrid operation and recharging of the batteries.

The Mack with its suite of integrated technologies, is currently undergoing evaluation and testing in a fleet at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.